I'm wrong? I'M WRONG?! Well you're gay, you gay-mo!!!
When you're gay, simple confrontations are often compounded because of your sexual orientation. Incidents that might be uncomfortable for heterosexuals are sometimes turned into personal attacks for 'mosexuals, since many people of this world still think that one's gayness is a characteristic that can and should be used against one in the course of confrontation.
We've certainly experienced this. Not too long ago, while this writer and his partner were trying to park their car, a lady in a mini van cut us off and stole the space. When we challenged her rude and reckless driving, she didn't try and defend her motor skills. Instead she let out some sort of convoluted attack against our sexuality.
And that's just one small example. "I think you've wronged me -- let's discuss it" can very quickly turn into, "Whatdya gonna do about it, f*ggot?" For queer people, it's often a case of not only having to decide if life's common run-ins are worth the headache, but also if speaking up and saying something will make you vulnerable to homo-hostile insults (or worse).
Which leads us to this incident in New Jersey. A gay couple is currently in court seeking justice for what they perceive as inaction stemming from an 2004 incident in which they confronted a group of firefighters' noisy party, and were (allegedly) met with resistance that included threats against their gay lives. In fact, they claim that the harassment was so real and frightening, it prompted them to flee the city of Secaucus. And despite the threats they felt, they claim not nearly enough was done by local authorities to allay their fears. Read more at The Star-Ledger:
Gay couple say they lived in fear after threats [Star-Ledger]
Now, we're not going to weigh in on the merits of the case or the men's deservedness to the damages they seek. That's for the lawyers and judge to sort out. But what we are saying is that we get it. As a gay person, you just do. And if a blind eye was truly turned to this pervasive problem in a way that forced the men out of town, we certainly want to see that remedied.
We should be free to bitch about life's injustices without fearing a followup that targets our sex lives. For all of us, the weak form of discourse serves as a constant reminder that our lives and loves are still not embraced. For some of us, it serves as a sobering mindf*k that numbs us to the corel.
Jeremy, you hit the nail right on the head with this one. There are times when you just walk away because you know the issue is little but the eventual battle you have to fight will be a big one. I face this all of the time as a EMT / Rescue Officer. When I see something that is wrong or need changing, I always have to weigh whether I want to engage in the "You only want to change it because you're queer, any straight guy would be fine with it." Its really frustrating when you are dealing with life safety issues where macho bravado makes people do unsafe things. You can't walk away from life safety issues but I always know it will be twice the fight.
Posted by: Ed | May 8, 2008 11:41:40 AMcomments powered by Disqus